Genetically modified food has divided experts for years. Some say that it is necessary to feed a growing global population whilst others object to GM food on the grounds that it is unethical and poses health risks for both humans and for the natural environment.
Although many consumers are wary about eating GM products, food producers have continued to seek new ways to increase profits and reduce wastage. As a result many everyday products now contain GM ingredients. And GM food may be more prevalent than you expect. In fact, around 90% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified.
So what exactly does Genetically Modified mean?
Genetically modified foods are produced by making changes to the DNA structure of food crops to give specific benefits. Examples include apples that have been modified not to brown as quickly or potato crops that have been modified to be more resistant to viruses.
How to avoid GM ingredients
It can be difficult to spot which products have been genetically modified, particularly as a large amount of animal feed contains GM ingredients. Even though the eggs you eat might not have been modified themselves, the chicken that laid them may be eating genetically modified feed.
If you want to avoid GM ingredients, the best thing to do is look for labels that state that a product is ‘GM Free’. Alternatively, choose organic products that feature the Soil Association logo.
The Soil Association campaigns against the use of GM ingredients in both human food and animal feed. For more information about the Soil Association, visit: www.soilassociation.org